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Readers Respond: Tell Us What Was the Worst Part of Having Your Tonsils Removed

Responses: 50


Updated November 05, 2010

The pain!

I'm 22 years old and currently on day 7 of recovery from my tonsillectomy. For the people in the first couple of days saying it's "not that bad", do not speak so soon, days 1-2 were a breeze compared to what's to come. I had to have my tonsils removed because of chronic infection, and as much as I am sure I will eventually be glad I had them removed, this experience has been miserable! I have never experienced worse pain despite having had surgery quite a few times. I am constantly taking painkillers, which make the pain only just bearable. I haven't been able to eat today because it has been too painful. One of the worst things for me has been the uncertainty! Unlike recovering from any other wounds in the past, the pain does not decrease incrementally day by day, rather, you may feel okay one day and the next day you feel like death again! Same goes for eating and drinking, sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. Be prepared for the pain! Good luck with your recoveries everyone!
—Guest Matt


I have a pretty high pain tolerance, & am now on Day 4. It is uncomfortable. It feels like a bad sore throat. I take my meds regularly but am only taking half of the pain med. I am not a fan of drugs but know I need to take something to cope with the discomfort. The taste in my mouth is not good. My tongue feels a bit numb & I have not slept well. I drink lots of ice water, eat pudding, ice cream, fruit pops, & other soft foods. I can't say it is the worse thing but I am ready to begin healing. I am fortunate to be able to rest when the kids leave to school. I recommend keeping an ice pack to lay on your throat. That has helped me with the constant ice water intake.
—Guest Christina S.

Day 13

I had my tonsils out almost 2 weeks ago and the experience was bad, but not terrible. The first few days felt like a sore throat and then as the scabs began to form (5-10 days post surgery) is when the most pain occurred. I Think the hardest part for me was not being able to speak for 2 weeks ( I just started to be able to talk somewhat normal on day 12), not being able to eat anything solid, and not being able to taste anything. I recommend getting a humidifier to prevent your throat from drying out, drink a glass of water every hour, eat a lot of popsicles ( ice-cream creates more mucus), roman soup and jello. Also try not to speak as it will make things worse and use icepacks if you can to help with the swelling. Moreover, I suggest taking a full 2 weeks off of work/ school etc.. I only allotted 10 days and then had to take additional time as I was not healed. Hope this helps and you have a speedy recovery!
—Guest Jackie

I Believe it Was Worth It!

I have been a sufferer of chronic infections for many years. I am currently on day 8 of my recovery. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it sucks. Do you know what sucks more? Years of suffering, one abscess that almost killed me, and awful meds was so much worse. The pain is bad now, but it has an actual end. When treatment is not undergone, the problems are forever. Get it done. Take the pain meds. Remember it DOES have an end.
—Guest A

about tonsil surgery

I am 15 and i just got my tonsils out 4 months ago. I had Popsicles and cold things to eat. A day after surgery I was eating hard food and i was perfectly fine but when i relapsed it was bad! ):
—Guest Haley beck

just want real food

I'm 13 and just got my tonsils out. I take meds every 4 hrs but it is not helping at all. I wake up during the night every hour and cant breathe. what I really want the most though, is real food for once. I am sick of popsicles and ice cream and just want to eat some real food. The pain is worst when I speak and swallow. I hope this will be worth not getting strep every other month!
—Guest guest

You'll survive

For anyone getting the procedure, I assume it's because you get many throat infections. In my case, the pain is about equivalent to that just a bad case of strep. I'm on day 3, the pain has been tough but not unbearable. Waking up is tough but sleeping had been a piece of cake. The first couple of days are weird because of the swelling inside your mouth which will make your air passage seem restrained but it's not. The taste is pretty gross but you get used to it. All in all it's not the horrible recovery everyone makes it out to be unless you really have a low tolerance for pain. Just take your meds on a strict schedule (especially in middle of night) stay super hydrated and ride it out.
—Guest Tim


I'm 17, had my tonsils removed on The 21st. I was completely fine the first day after surgery - eating solids slowly but managing. Day 2 was sorer but still okay, I was out of hospital and back home. Day 3 I was crying basically all day from the pain. The medicine was not helping at all. Day 4 was much the same. Moving my tongue and neck is really sore and I can't open my mouth really. Today's day 5. I've learned that as long as I don't fall asleep for long periods of time and take medicine in stages eg; instead of paracetamol, ibuprofen and codine at the same time if I take them about an hour apart it helps keep the pain at bay. I managed to eat cheese on toast today, but it was agony afterwards. The hospital told me day 5-7 would be the worst. I can hardly drink water at all but that supposedly helps a lot.
—Guest guest


I had my tonsils taken out Wednesday afternoon, it is now Sunday afternoon. I have to say it's been quite a bad experience, but not all as bad as some people are making it out to be, but then again everyone's person recovery is going to be different. As soon as I came out of the operation I managed to eat ham buttys followed by icecream. I was told to eat solid foods from day 1 to make the healing process faster by knocking the scabs off. For the first few days eating the solids was horrible, especially when pain relief was wearing off. The pain's now more bearable but mornings are the worst, make sure constant sips of ice cold water and being taken as much as possible throughout the night. The scabs being knocked off is quite painful, but take some co-codamol and everything's fine. I hope this surgery is worth it.
—Guest Charlotte

Day 1 tonsil removal

I just got my tonsils and adenoids out today the surgery went very well it only took 15 min for the actually surgery I did not bleed and I feel fine. When I read all these reviews it really scared me but people make it a bigger deal then it really is. Yeah your throat is gonna hurt what do you expect? They just took a piece of your body out. It hurts to swallow but I has a chronic infection, my tonsils were huge and it was affecting my breathing and my nasal passage for my left nostril has been blocked up for years. I am already breathing better. I have never been so happy to have surgery till now. I'm 24 years old and thank God I never have to worry about strep again I would get strep at least 3 times a year it was the WORST now I don't have to worry about it ever again.
—Guest Sonny

5 days out

I had surgery five days ago. Ill admit. This is the worst pain I've ever dealt with. I'm a 24 y/o female I've had lots of other surgeries before. My dr well prepared me. He told me I was going to be in the worst pain of my life and feel absolutely miserable. The worst part is swallowing. I would have never thought my own saliva or ice water would hurt so bad. I have found that drinking iced tea constantly helps keep my swelling down. I also have to say the scabs and healing process are the grossest thing ever. It leaves the worst taste in your mouth and it smells horrible. I'm happy I got it done tho. I had a choice but I know that in about 2 weeks in going to feel so much better. Just keep hydrated and get lots of sleep. Good luck!
—Guest Alyssa

day 1

So far so good. I am in pain and my throat is swollen but I keep telling myself its only for a short time. Plus I just had a baby so loosing a few pounds won't be the death of me. I have a high pain tolerance though......delivered my daughter without medication and hardly any pain. So hopefully this is a walk in the park. We shall see.
—Guest coco

Age 21 - Day 2 since operation

I had surgery on Tuesday and it is now Thursday. It has been fairly painful but the painkillers are effective at controlling the pain. I spend months of every year (or used to at least) with chronic tonsillitis so to have them out is great, and I am happy to spend a few weeks of discomfort. I could eat fine straight away, 4 hours after surgery I was tucking into an omelette, fruit, juice. Next morning had croissant with jam, juice, bread.. back to normal diet. One note though I would say is that you should dose up before you go to sleep, it's annoying waking up in the middle of the night and then having to wait for half an hour for the painkillers to take full effect.
—Guest Jack

really not that bad

Just on day 2 after having mine out. I looked up this forum beforehand, and it really scared me. Just before the surgery my mother had to calm me down. I thought the pain was going to be awful, but its really not. I'm 20 years of age, and I've been suffering from tonsillitis since I was 12. Must say I'm glad to have gotten them out. The pain afterwards really isn't that bad. Had McDonald's last night before bed so when I hear people are struggling a week later I can only think they shouldn't have had them out. Obviously they never had bad tonsillitis. So don't worry you'll be fine! And If it's the pain you're worried about, you should get them out, you'll be glad of it later.
—Guest don

Ears are full of pressure

I'm 19 years old and going on day 6 of post-surgery. The first 2-3 days were OK, but once I was off of the pain medicine the Dr. gave me, the pain got bad. Yes, the whole swallowing part was and still is terrible, but the worst part for me is that I feel intense amounts of pressure in my ears, neck, back of head, and throat. I go to sleep with bags of ice around my face to try and relieve the pain. It helps me fall asleep, but when I wake up the pain is just as bad as it was before I fell asleep. I am getting so sick of ice cream, believe it or not! I can't wait to feel normal again and eat solid foods. I go back to school in one week and I BETTER feel better by then!
—Guest Caisy

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